Hello old friend.
I haven’t seen you like this in a little while. You’ve always been around, I know that, lurking in the corners and watching me from afar, waiting for the appropriate moment to come see me face to face. I haven’t missed you, to be honest. I like having you around in the vast perimeter of my life, because you fuel me. You help me get off my butt and get things done. Arguably too many things, most of the time, but who’s really counting. No one ever complains about getting too many things done.
Anyway, it’s actually quite nice of you to check on me. A lot of times, it’s what I wish for − others checking in to ask if I’m doing alright. I should be grateful.
You keep me humble whenever I feel like I can take on the world with my head held high. You ground me by slapping me with the awareness of unmet needs. Right in the face. You come knocking on my door to let me know something’s going wrong. You don’t always let me know what it is right away, you prefer to keep me guessing. You want to keep me sharp and vigilant. But I’ve known this game of yours for a long time. I’m getting better at figuring you out.
Nevertheless, you like to remind me of what life could be like without a few essential friends such as Sleep and Appetite. Here’s the thing, you and Sleep, you’re not friends. You’ve disliked each other since high school and even actively avoided each other for a long time now. You see, this is particularly hard on me because I actually like you both in different ways. I don’t like being in the middle of your feud.
Like I said, you keep me productive. At times, you’re my superpower. You’re responsible for many of my lows but you’re also fuelling my highs. I can’t really cut you out of my life without losing a part of who I am.
Sleep, however, is a very important friend to me. We usually spend seven to eight hours together every day and it’s just what I need to keep you in check for the remaining time. It’s vital. I need to see Sleep so I can keep up high productivity levels with you throughout the day. You know that if you keep me away from Sleep for too long a period of time, I crash. I might even ditch you because I can’t be bothered to care about you as much as I do when each and every cell of my body isn’t screaming for Sleep. I really like Sleep. You can’t keep us apart forever. And I know that. So I’m waiting for you to tire me out, so I can finally get back to Sleep. Unfortunately, you’re a bit selfish. You like having me all to yourself. You enjoy being on the centre stage of my life. Sleep doesn’t approve of that. Sleep only comes back once you’ve wandered off into the backstage area, watching me from a distance instead of being wrapped around me like a sticky cloud.
Another close friend of mine whose presence I’m quite fond of is Appetite. Being the selfish bastard that you are, you also don’t approve of Appetite. You don’t hate Appetite as much as you hate Sleep, given that you actually tolerate the former for much longer than the latter. But Appetite still has to go eventually, once you’re on the centre stage. It’s alright though. You need this. I’ll grant you the centre stage everytime you need it. I don’t think your intentions are bad. You want my attention. You want me to wake up, to make me see. And I appreciate that, even though I could do with a little less drama from you.
So where does that leave us for now, you’re asking? Well, you’re here now. We’re catching up. You fulfilled your duty of checking in on me and I’m thankful for that.
But now it’s time for you to go, make room for others on the centre stage of my life. It’s not a solo show. You’re not all there is to life.
Dear Anxiety, you need to leave now. Until we meet again.
So long, old friend.